If there's one thing I like to do in writing this column, it's tell a feel good story when it happens.
That story unfolded over the weekend on the softball diamonds at Fairland Regional Park in Laurel where the ASA State Softball Championships were being contested for the 18U and 14U age groups.
The play for our team, the 18U Havre de Grace Chiefs, was supposed to begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday morning, but overnight rains in that area left the field in rough shape. I got the call about the time I was reaching the tunnel, but we were not turning back.
As it turned out, our 11:30 pool game was now posted for a 2 p.m. start and our original second game start of 2:30 p.m. was now a 4 p.m. game. That game eventually started at 4:55 p.m.
Both games were wins and with them came a top seed for the bracket play that began Saturday evening. Our next game was scheduled for 9 p.m.
Another win to start bracket play, set us up in pretty good shape Sunday morning with a winner's bracket final against the North Carroll Hot Shots.
The Chiefs prevailed again, 3-2, putting themselves in the championship game and in position to need just one win to become state champions.
The Hot Shots made their way back to the championship round and defeated the Chiefs, 7-4, forcing the "if" game.
In that "if" game, the Hot Shots broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with three runs.
In the bottom of the fourth, though, the Chiefs pushed across seven runs before the final out was recorded. The order went completely around and six runs were on the board before the Hot Shots could record an out.
Steady pitching and defense held the Hot Shots silent the final three innings, while the Chiefs pushed across one additional run to finalize the scoring. Chiefs are ASA Class B 18U State Champions with an 8-3 win.
Now, some of you are probably thinking what's the big deal. Well, a state championship of any kind is always a big deal to me and if I told you that of the nine players who made up the team on Sunday, just three are true 18U players, what would you think?
Well, that's the fact. This group of young ladies, with representation from three age groups, put it all together and got the job done.
The captains, Megan Appold, Meredith Grady and Mariah Ripken, were the three players who are true 18U players. Tori Lomonico, Kelsey McRoberts and Sarah Scott are three who could still legally play 16U. Riley Arnold, Rebecca Ashman and Jamie Cooper are three who play 14U week in and week out with the Chiefs younger team.
All nine of these players gave 100 percent of effort and all nine come from or have come through the Havre de Grace Little League softball program.
Rebecca Baldwin and Ashley Crowe, both true 18U players, each lent a hand, playing in one of the Saturday games; neither was available Sunday.
Some had tasted a state championship in softball play before, the rest had not. Sunday they were all crowned state champions. What a way to start summer vacation and celebrate Father's Day. Congratulations girls!